The Nest Academy Fund Our ‘Why’ & Rebuild Our Nest Capital Campaign
The Nest Academy is celebrating its 12 year anniversary, a milestone of 12 first
generation graduates and 12 years of ‘Why’, responding to one of Charlotte’s
greatest needs. The Nest continues to honor its ‘why’- to offer
hope through educating, empowering and enriching the lives of refugee,
immigrant and some of Charlotte’s most vulnerable and marginalized children
with a the gift of education, changing the trajectories of its students
lives for legacies to come.
The Nest embarks on its first Fund Our ‘Why’ Capital Campaign to strengthen
their Nest, and is very grateful for the generosity of one donor who has
pledged $500,000 toward The Nest’s Fund Our ‘Why’ campaign. This allows
your donation to be matched dollar for dollar (up to $500K) toward fundraising
efforts for this campaign.
Thank you for your generosity and for helping us continue the
great work of The Nest.
Nest Media Coverage
Featured In the Charlotte Observer March 19, 2020
MC Hildreth wanted so badly to wrap her arms around her students and their families as they filed in and out of the quiet cafeteria of The Nest Academy off Eastway Drive.
But there was a pandemic brewing, which is why they were there on Wednesday afternoon — to pick up provisions Hildreth and her staff had rounded up for what could be a long isolation for members of the tiny school that serves 24 low-income students, mostly Latino immigrants and refugees.
The private school, founded in 2009, is free for students.
On one side of the cafeteria sat boxes loaded with veggies and flatbread and shredded cheese, all donated by Cici’s Pizza. Nearby, six cafeteria tables were loaded with cereal and canned goods, bread, fresh fruit, soap and hygiene products.
The relief effort was the result of a sinking feeling that hit Hildreth hard on Sunday while she stood in line buying groceries and supplies for herself and her own three children: If she was having trouble finding the essentials, she had to find a way to help her school’s families get through the crisis.
“Their needs are great every day on a normal basis,” Hildreth said.
On Monday, she sent an email blast to 600 school supporters, and within minutes, donations were rolling in.
Hildreth took the $1,000 that was donated and spent Monday and Tuesday filling carts with groceries and supplies and notifying families that help was coming.
“We wanted to ensure them that we had their kids, that we were going to continue to teach their kids every single day and that we would continue to feed them,” she said. For many, “this is triggering something that reminds them of the fight they’ve been in before, the fight for their lives, to flee their country.”
One mom named Luz, who has two kids at The Nest, smiled widely as she picked out her groceries. She has a compromised immune system because she suffers from Lupus, so being able to get food from a sparsely populated cafeteria instead of a grocery store was a big help.
“This is incredible,” she said.
Hildreth helped families carry boxes out on Wednesday afternoon, and bid students farewell.
But while they wouldn’t see each other in person for awhile, they’d be seeing each other daily via Chromebook. Last week, school staff sent students home with Chromebooks in case schools were closed.
“This is where the strength of the community really is able to be shown,” Hildreth said, “by linking arms with one another.”
Featured In EdNC June 28, 2019
When H’Thin Rochom came to the United States in 2005, she was too young to remember much about her family’s home in Vietnam. But that part of her identity certainly followed her into Charlotte.
When she started falling behind in middle school, she knew there was a problem. But it felt like nobody cared — like she was being pushed through the system anyway, especially in her ESL classes. That was before she was invited to attend the Nest Academy.
In 2008, Charlotte resident M.C. Hildreth was helping tutor local refugee and immigrant students through One7 ministries at the public library uptown. Hildreth said many of them couldn’t speak English.
She said when she approached the public school system looking for a way to help, she found an overburdened ESL (English as a Second Language) program that was having challenges with the refugee population.
So Hildreth decided to open a small private school for refugee and immigrant students. She called it The Nest Academy, a Christian school that was initially girls-only. They began the first school year in 2009 with five refugee girls who were struggling in school. Since then, the academy has expanded to cover grades five through 12, and includes boys, too.
This year, H’Thin Rochom was the sole member of the 2019 graduating class. That’s not an unusual class size for the school, which has graduated nine students since its inception 10 years ago. Each year, Hildreth said, they have the same graduation ceremony regardless of how many students are graduating.
Unlike most private schools, the students here pay nothing to attend. Their tuition is covered by fundraising from individual donors in the private sector. Hildreth said this year, corporate donors contributed for the first time.